Monday, August 31, 2009

big american nfl preview '09: AFC North

I need to go ahead and let you all know that if you're not following Chad Ochocinco's Twitter feed, you're missing some of the most hilarious stuff on the internet. Onto the AFC North preview...

4. Cleveland - In theory, the Browns have a lot of good pieces. But that's only if everyone is playing the part of what they should be rather than what they are. Edwards, Anderson(or even Quinn, failing that), Jackson, Rodgers, and Lewis are all names that should push Cleveland into some serious football discussions. They're not. This team isn't going places. Their one win this season won't even put them into Detroit's 0-16 club.

3. Cincinnati - Hilarity aside, Ochocinco is in a lot of trouble. TJ Houshmanzada isn't on the other side of the field, I don't have any faith in the run game, and Carson Palmer looks like he's going to end up joining Grant Hill in the "how great would have have been if not for the being injured all the time?" hall of fame. Carson might put together a full season, and the Bengals have a young defense that could make a difference and give the Bengals a good finish to the season, but I don't like their chances on the whole.

2. Baltimore - Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan can't both have the kind of season they did last year, and my money is on Ryan repeating before Flacco. That said, this is still Baltimore. The Ravens are another year older on that defense, but that's still a defense that can get things done (and it still has Terrell Suggs...and that man is frightening). I like McGahee even if he can't finish a season, and I hear good things about Rice. They'll be in the playoff discussion, either as the last team in or the first team out.

1. Pittsburgh - Put simply, all the parts of a team that was big and scary and awesome last year have returned. Well, at least, a defense that was big and scary and awesome last year. If the offense can improve itself at all, there's a better than average chance that we'll follow the blueprint this season. We'll jump on a team that gets hot or has a flashy offense or makes a sexy highlight reel until the next thing you know, Pittsburgh is the runaway favorite to win the AFC.

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